Many travelers attempt to get monetary savings by searching the web for cheaper hotel rates.
But a recent study suggests it might not be definitely worth the time — no less than in some places.
The travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip compared rates for 950 hotels in 19 global cities on three popular booking web sites in addition to each hotel’s site.
In accordance with the outcomes published last week, Hotels.com had the perfect overall rates — but just barely.
Hotels.com had the perfect rates in 620 instances, which was barely higher than Expedia, which had the most cost effective rates in 579 instances.
Booking directly with a hotel was costlier, but by only about $6 more on average, in line with the study.
“There have been conflicting views on hotel rates, and folks … imagine that booking through online travel platforms ensured a greater rate than the hotel website,” said Shalabh Arora, director of selling at India’s 4 Seasons Hotel Bengaluru. “Nevertheless, it is not so at 4 Seasons where rate parity is taken very seriously.”
He said the hotels’ website has a pop-up function which compares rates offered by the hotel with those on other booking platforms.
Finally, the web site Booking.com had the most cost effective rates in 72 instances — or about 7% of the time — in line with the study.
“Not only was [Booking.com] rarely essentially the most reasonably priced, however it was also the costliest option nearly all of the time,” in line with the published results.
The corporate’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific Laura Houldsworth responded to the study by email, stating that the corporate goals “to all the time be transparent with our customers” and that “our property partners are free to set their very own prices on Booking.com.”
She added that “our promise to cost match also implies that if a customer should ever discover a cheaper price on one other website, Booking.com will refund the difference.”
Different booking brands, same parent company
The report found average hotel rates on Hotels.com and Expedia were the identical in seven of 19 cities, with overall averages various by just 27 cents.
“Expedia and Hotels.com often had the identical price, especially with the international hotels,” said Sarah Webber, director of selling for InsureMyTrip.
Each brands are owned by Expedia Group, which also operates other travel booking web sites, including Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz and CheapTickets.
“Hotels working with Expedia Group distribute their rates across all of our brands,” said Anna Brown, an organization public relations manager. “The speed is analogous across brands, nonetheless various offers … approved by our hotel partners, sometimes create rate differences.”
Brown said rates also can vary through brands’ app-only pricing, while Hotwire’s “Hot Rates” mask hotels’ names prior to buy in exchange for deep discounts on last-minute bookings.
Booking.com is an element of Booking Holdings, which operates Priceline, Agoda and Kayak. Booking Holdings had the best revenue amongst all online travel agencies from 2019 to 2021, in line with the research company Statista.
Hotel rates by city
The InsureMyTrip report showed significant rate differences in certain cities. As an illustration, travelers could save as much as $88 per night in Honolulu, in the event that they found the bottom price.
In Recent York, the report found average hotel rates varied from $293 on Hotels.com to $367 on Booking.com.
The study also found:
- Hotels.com had the most cost effective rates in Recent York City 62% of the time.
- Expedia had the most cost effective rates in Honolulu 62% of the time and Boston 66% of the time.
- Direct hotel bookings were least expensive in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
But rate fluctuations were less pronounced outside of america.
Posted rates varied lower than $10 per night on average in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul, in line with the research.
InsureMyTrip’s study represents a snapshot in time, with the research analyzing rates for a double room for 2 people booked for the night of Aug. 27, 2022, the firm said.
All searches were conducted on the identical day to avoid price fluctuations, since “prices can change quickly and unexpectedly,” said Webber.
Not all hotels or booking sites include the identical extras in the ultimate price.
Nevertheless, the study didn’t consider whether rates were refundable or included taxes, said Webber.
“To maintain the study so simple as possible, we took the value seen on the sites as the ultimate cost,” she said. “So, it’s definitely something to think about as not all hotels or booking sites include the identical extras in the ultimate price.”
Other aspects, similar to prepayment requirements and breakfast inclusions, can affect rates too, which further complicates the hotel price comparison process — for researchers and travelers alike.